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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. DARLENE RISHEL ROBINSON v. ALLAN BRYAN ROBINSON (08/26/83)

filed: August 26, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. DARLENE RISHEL ROBINSON
v.
ALLAN BRYAN ROBINSON, APPELLANT



No. 1652 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Civil Division, at No. F-37-491-1982.

COUNSEL

John T. Snavely, II, Lansdowne, for appellant.

Nicholas J. Emper, Media, for appellee.

McEwen, Cirillo and Hoffman, JJ. McEwen, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Hoffman

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 425]

This is an appeal from the lower court's order requiring appellant to pay $90 weekly in child and spousal support. Because we find the record insufficient to support the order, we vacate the order of the lower court and remand for further evidentiary hearings.

The parties were married on October 10, 1970, and the children were born on July 8, 1971 and December 13, 1974. On January 22, 1982, appellee-wife and the children left the marital abode and subsequently brought this action for support. Following a hearing, the lower court ordered appellant to pay $35 a week for each child and $20 for appellee. The lower court denied exceptions, prompting this appeal.

"[I]n evaluating support orders, our scope of review is limited to ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain the order and whether there has been an abuse of discretion by the lower court." Shank v. Shank, 298 Pa. Superior Ct. 459, 462, 444 A.2d 1274, 1276 (1982). Support orders must be fair, not confiscatory, and must be consistent with the parents' and children's station in life and

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 426]

    customary standard of living. Commonwealth ex rel. Cragle v. Cragle, 277 Pa. Superior Ct. 349, 352, 419 A.2d 1179, 1180-81 (1980). Accord Shank v. Shank, supra. Here, the lower court found that appellant earned $227.36 and appellee $20 each week. Appellant also established his weekly expenses. Appellee, however, submitted an expense sheet that was almost entirely conjectural. Although her parents were providing her and the children with food and shelter, she nonetheless submitted weekly expenses of $236. The enumerated expenses included gas, oil, insurance and repair of a non-existant automobile. She included rent, utilities and other items fully paid for by her parents and submitted food expenses greater than what her parents had been paying because "the children should be eating better." (N.T. May 27, 1982 at 23). In short, her expense sheet provided the court with her desired rather than actual expenses. (Id. at 24). The lower court acknowledged the lack of evidence, noting that "[w]e did not then accept the expenses as set forth in the sum of Two hundred, thirty-six dollars ($236)." Lower Court Op. at 6. The court, however, has not informed us as to the basis of its decision, nor does the record provide any evidence upon which it could have properly based a determination. Accordingly, because the record below is void of competent evidence of appellee's and the children's needs, we must vacate the order of the lower court and remand for further evidentiary hearings and a new order.*fn*

[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 427]

Order vacated and case remanded for proceedings consistent with this Opinion. ...


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